Little Things Doth Crabby Make – Part XXI. No, colrm(1) Doesn’t Work.

This is just another quick and dirty installment in the Little Things Doth Crabby Make series. Consider the man page for the colrm(1) command:

That looks pretty straightforward to me. If, for example, I have a 6-column text file and I only want to ingest from, say, columns 1 through 3,  I should be able to execute colrm(1) with a single argument: 4. I’m not finding the colrm(1) command to work in accordance with my reading of the man page so that qualifies as a little thing that doth crabby make.

Consider the following screenshot showing a simple 6-column text file. To make sure there are no unprintable characters that might somehow interfere with colrm(1) functionality I also listed the contents with od(1):

Next, I executed a series of colrm(1) commands in an attempt to see which columns get plucked from the file based on different single-argument invocations:

Would that make anyone else crabby? The behavior appears to me very indeterminate to me and that makes me crabby.

Thoughts? Leave a comment!

 

Little Things Doth Crabby Make – Part XX – Man Pages Matter! Um, Still.

It’s been a while since I’ve posted a Little Things Doth Crabby Make entry so here it is, post number 20 in the series. This is short and sweet.

I was eyeing output from the iostat(1) command with the -xm options on a Fedora 17 host and noticed the column headings were weird. I was performing a SLOB data loading test and monitoring the progress. Here is what I saw:

 

If that looks all fine and dandy then please consider the man page:

OK, so that is petty, I know.  But, the series is called Little Things Doth Crabby Make after all. 🙂

 

 

 

 

Announcing My Employer-Related Twitter Account

When I tweet anything about Amazon Web Services it will be on the following twitter handle:  https://twitter.com/ClossonAtWork (@ClossonAtWork).

If you’re interested in following my opinions on that twitter feed, please click and follow. Thanks.

Announcing SLOB 2.4! Integrated Short Scans and Cloud (DBaaS) Support, and More.

This post is to announce the release of SLOB 2.4!

VERSION

SLOB 2.4.0. Release notes (PDF): Click Here.

WHERE TO GET THE BITS

As always, please visit the SLOB Resources page. Click Here.

NEW IN THIS RELEASE

  • Short Table Scans. This release introduces the ability to configure SLOB sessions to perform a percentage of all SELECT statements as full table scans against a small, non-indexed table. However, the size of the “scan table” is configurable.
  • Statspack Support. This version, by default, generates STATSPACK reports instead of Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) reports. This means that SLOB testing can be conducted against Oracle Database editions that do not support AWR–as well as the ability to test Enterprise Edition with fewer software licensing concerns. AWR reports can be generated after a simple modification to the slob.conf file.
  • External Script Execution. House-keeping of run results files and the ability to, for example,  issue a remote command to a storage array to commence data collection is introduced by the EXTERNAL_SCRIPT feature in SLOB 2.4.

ADDITIONAL CHANGES

SLOB 2.4 has been tested on public cloud configurations to include Amazon Web Services RDS for Oracle. SLOB 2.4 changes to slob.conf parameters, and other infrastructure, makes SLOB 2.4 the cloud predictability, and repeatability, testing tool of choice as of SLOB 2.4.

ADDITIONAL INFO

Please see the SLOB 2.4 Documentation in the SLOB/doc directory. Or, click here.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The SLOB 2.4 release came by way of non-trivial contributions from the SLOB community. I’m very thankful for the contributions and want to point out the following value added by several SLOB user community folks:

  • Chris Osborne (@westendwookie). Chris provided a functional prototype of the new SLOB 2.4 Scan Table Feature. Thanks, Chris!
  • Christian Antognini (@ChrisAntognini): Chris provided a functional prototype of the new SLOB 2.4 support for STATSPACK! Thanks, Chris!
  • James Morle (@JamesMorle). James has helped with several scalability improvements in slob.sql based on his astonishing high-end SLOB testing. With thousands of sessions attached to a dozen or more state-of-the-art Xeon hosts connected to NVM storage led to several issues with proper start/stop synchronization and thus impacting repeatability. James also created the new SLOB 2.4 EXTERNAL_SCRIPT feature. As always, thanks, James!
  • Maciej Przepiorka (@mPrzepiorka): Maciej conducted very thorough Beta testing and enhanced the EXTERNAL_SCRIPT feature in SLOB 2.4. Thanks, Maciej.
  • Martin Berger (@martinberx): Martin conducted significant Standard Edition testing and also enhanced the SLOB/misc/awr_info.sh (SLOB/misc/statspack_info.sh) script for producing performance data, in tuple form, from STATSPACK. Thanks, Martin!

AWS Database Blog – Added To My Blog Roll

This is just a brief blog post to share that I’ve added the AWS Database Blog to my blogroll.  I recommend you do the same! Let’s follow what’s going on over there.

Some of my favorite categories under the AWS Database Blog are:

 

 

Readers: I do intend to eventually get proper credentials to make some posts on that blog. All in proper time and with proper training and clearance.

SLOB Use Cases By Industry Vendors. Learn SLOB, Speak The Experts’ Language.

For general SLOB information, please visit: https://kevinclosson.net/slob.

List of Vendors Who Publish SLOB Testing Results

The list of vendors’ SLOB use cases discussed in this blog post are (in no particular order) flashgrid.io, VMware, VCE, Nutanix, Netapp, HPE, Pure Storage, Nimble, IBM, Red Hat, Dell EMC, Red Stack Tech. Beyond vendors, I’ll show SLOB usage at Kernel.org as well.

Introduction

This is just a quick blog entry to showcase a few of the publications from IT vendors showcasing SLOB. SLOB allows performance engineers to speak in short sentences. As I’ve pointed out before, SLOB is not used to test how well Oracle handles transaction. If you are worried that Oracle cannot handle transactions then you have bigger problems than what can be tested with SLOB. SLOB is how you test whether–or how well–a platform can satisfy SQL-driven database physical I/O.

SLOB testing is not at all like using a transactional test kit (e.g., TPC-C). Transactional test kits are, first and foremost, Oracle intrinsic code testing kits (the code of the server itself). Here again I say if you are questioning (testing) Oracle transaction layer code then something is really wrong. Sure, transactional kits involve physical I/O but the ratio of CPU utilization to physical I/O is generally not conducive to testing even mid-range modern storage without massive compute capability. This is where vendors and dutiful systems experts rely on SLOB.

Recent SLOB testing on top-bin Broadwell Xeons (E5-2699v4) show that each core is able to drive over 50,000 physical read IOPS (db file sequential read).  On the contrary 50,000 IOPS is about what one would expect from over a dozen of such cores with a transactional test kit because the CPU is being used to execute Oracle intrinsic transaction code paths and, indeed, some sundry I/O.

SLOB Use Cases By IT Vendors

The following are links and screenshots from the likes of FlashGrid, Red Hat, DellEMC, HPE, Nutanix, NetApp, Pure Storage, IBM, Nimble Storage showing some of their SLOB use cases. Generally speaking, if you are shopping for modern storage–optimized for Oracle Database–you should expect to see SLOB results.

FlashGrid

The first case I’d like to share is that of a solution built by FlashGrid. This solution is all about using AWS EC2 instances, along with FlashGrid technology and best practices for Real Application Clusters,  in the AWS Cloud. I am not an expert on Flash Grid and am merely reporting their usage of SLOB as can be seen in the following paper and blog post:

I do recommend getting a copy of this paper!

FlashGrid Characterizing Real Application Clusters Performance with SLOB in the AWS Cloud (EC2 instances)

VMware

VMware showcasing VSAN with Oracle using SLOB at: https://blogs.vmware.com/apps/2016/08/oracle-12c-oltp-dss-workloads-flash-virtual-san-6-2.html.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-11-48-06-am

VMware Using SLOB to Assess VSAN Suitability for Oracle Database

VMware has an additional publication showing SLOB results at the following URL: https://blogs.vmware.com/virtualblocks/2016/08/22/oracle-12c-oltp-dss-workloads-flash-virtual-san-6-2/

VCE

The VCE Solution guide for consolidating databases includes proof points based on SLOB testing at the following link: http://www.vce.com/asset/documents/oracle-sap-sql-on-vblock-540-solutions-guide.pdf.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-4-57-10-pm

VCE Solution Guide Using SLOB Proof Points

Nutanix

Next is Nutanix with this publication: https://next.nutanix.com/t5/Server-Virtualization/Oracle-SLOB-Performance-on-Nutanix-All-Flash-Cluster/m-p/12997

Figure 2: Nutanix Using SLOB for Platform Suitability Testing

Nutanix Using SLOB for Platform Suitability Testing

NetApp

NetApp has a lot of articles showcasing SLOB results. The first is at the following link: https://www.netapp.com/us/media/nva-0012-design.pdf.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-08-22-pm

NetApp Testing FlexPod Select for High-Performance Oracle RAC with SLOB

The next NetApp article entitled NetApp AFF8080 EX Performance and Server Consolidation with Oracle Database also features SLOB results and can be found here: https://www.netapp.com/us/media/tr-4415.pdf.

Figure 4: NetApp Testing the AFF8080 with SLOB

NetApp Testing the AFF8080 with SLOB

Yet another SLOB-related NetApp article entitled Oracle Performance Using NetApp Private Storage for SoftLayer can be found here:  http://www.netapp.com/us/media/tr-4373.pdf.

Figure 5: NetApp Testing NetApp Private Storage for SoftLayer with SLOB

NetApp Testing NetApp Private Storage for SoftLayer with SLOB

When searching the NetApp main webpage I find 11 articles that offer SLOB testing results:

netappslob

Searching NetApp Website shows 11 SLOB-Related Articles

HPE

Hewlett-Packard Enterprise offers an article entitled HPE 3PAR All-Flash Acceleration for Oracle ASM Preferred Reads which models performance using SLOB. The article can be found here: http://h20195.www2.hpe.com/V2/getpdf.aspx/4AA6-3375ENW.pdf?ver=1.0

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-13-56-pm

HPE Using SLOB For Performance Assessment of 3PAR Storage

Pure Storage

In the Pure Storage article called Pure Storage Reference Architecture for Oracle Databases, the authors also show SLOB results. The article can be found here:

https://support.purestorage.com/@api/deki/files/1732/=Pure_Storage_Oracle_DB_Reference_Architecture.pdf?revision=2.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-22-24-pm

Pure Storage Featuring SLOB Results in Reference Architecture

Nimble Storage

Nimble Storage offers the following blog post with SLOB testing results: https://connect.nimblestorage.com/people/tdau/blog/2013/08/14.

Figure 9: Nimble Storage Blogging About Testing Their Array with SLOB

Nimble Storage Blogging About Testing Their Array with SLOB

IBM

There is an IBM “8-bar logo” presentation showing SLOB results here:  http://coug.ab.ca/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Accelerating-Applications-with-IBM-FlashJAN14-v2.pdf.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-28-45-pm

IBM Material Showing SLOB Testing

Kernel.org

I also find it interesting that folks contributing code to the Linux Kernel include SLOB results showing value of their contributions such as here: http://lkml.iu.edu/hypermail/linux/kernel/1302.2/01524.html.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-32-27-pm

Linux Kernel Contributors Use SLOB Testing of Their Submissions

Red Hat

Next we see Red Hat disclosing Live Migration capabilities that involve SLOB workloads: https://www.linux-kvm.org/images/6/66/2012-forum-live-migration.pdf.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-35-23-pm

Red Hat Showcasing Live Migration with SLOB Workload

Dell EMC

DellEMC has many publications showcasing SLOB results. This reference, however, merely suggests the best-practice of involving SLOB testing before going into production:

http://en.community.dell.com/techcenter/extras/m/white_papers/20438214.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-39-47-pm

DellEMC Advocate Pre-Production Testing with SLOB

An example of a detailed DellEMC publication showing SLOB results is the article entitled VMAX ALL FLASH AND VMAX3 ISCSI DEPLOYMENT GUIDE FOR ORACLE DATABASES which can be found here:

https://www.emc.com/collateral/white-papers/h15132-vmax-all-flash-vmax3-iscsi-deploy-guide-oracle-wp.pdf.

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-47-19-pm

EMC Testing VMAX3 All-FLASH with SLOB

Another usage of SLOB by Dell EMC can be found at the following link: http://www.principledtechnologies.com/Dell/VMAX_250F_PowerEdge_R930_Oracle_perf_0417_v3.pdf. This paper is a partner effort with Principled Technologies and it showcases a VMAX 250F All-Flash Array performance characterization with SLOB.

Dell EMC Partnering with Principled Technologies: SLOB Testing with VMAX 250F All-Flash

I took a moment to search the main DellEMC website for articles containing the word SLOB and found 76 such articles!

screen-shot-2017-02-10-at-12-49-23-pm

Search for SLOB Material on DellEMC Main Web Page

Red Stack Tech

Red Stack Tech offer DBaaS and even showcase the ability to test the platform for I/O suitability with SLOB:

http://www.redstk.com/services/cloud-technology-poc/

screen-shot-2017-02-14-at-8-03-49-am

Red Stack Tech Offering SLOB Testing as Proof of Concept

Non-Vendor References

Although not a vendor, it deserves mention that Greg Shultz of Server StorageIO and UnlimitedIO LLC lists SLOB alongside other platform and I/O testing toolkits. Greg’s exhaustive list can be found here: http://storageioblog.com/server-and-storage-io-benchmarking-resources/.

storageio

 

Summary

More and more people are using SLOB. If you are into Oracle Database platform performance I think you should join the club! Maybe you’ll even take interest in joining the Twitter SLOB list: https://twitter.com/kevinclosson/lists/slob-community.

Get SLOB, use SLOB!

 

 

 

 

SLOB 2.3 Data Loading Failed? Here’s a Quick Diagnosis Tip.

The upcoming SLOB 2.4 release will bring improved data loading error handling. While still using SLOB 2.3, users can suffer data loading failures that may appear–on the surface–to be difficult to diagnose.

Before I continue, I should point out that the most common data loading failure with SLOB in pre-2.4 releases is the concurrent data loading phase suffering lack of sort space in TEMP. To that end, here is an example of a SLOB 2.3 data loading failure due to shortage of TEMP space. Please notice the grep command (in Figure 2 below) one should use to begin diagnosis of any SLOB data loading failure:

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-3-37-20-pm

Figure 1

And now, the grep command:

screen-shot-2016-12-27-at-3-37-42-pm

Figure 2

 


DISCLAIMER

I work for Amazon Web Services. The opinions I share in this blog are my own. I'm *not* communicating as a spokesperson for Amazon. In other words, I work at Amazon, but this is my own opinion.

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All content is © Kevin Closson and "Kevin Closson's Blog: Platforms, Databases, and Storage", 2006-2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Kevin Closson and Kevin Closson's Blog: Platforms, Databases, and Storage with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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